Making merry in May: Mexico’s National Cheese and Wine Festival

To the north and west of Mexico City lies the region known as El Bajío, often called “Mexico’s breadbasket.” This rugged, high plateau bears a distinct resemblance to central Spain, home of its original settlers. Religious and hard working, they preserved many of the Spanish cultural and culinary traditions, and this part of Mexico is […]

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My journey with La Calaca: a Day of the Dead experience

My journey with La Calaca: a Day of the Dead experience

An opalescent sky muted the harshness of the emerald earth as the old car struggled up the rock-filled Mexican road, leaving the breeze blown coast behind. I had begun a journey deep into the verdant mountains of Oaxaca, peaks that faded into the haze, massive blue-gray shapes filled with mystery and magic… and little else. […]

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Tehuana women in their elaborate traditional dress. The underskirt is lace while the skirt and bodice are embroidered black velvet. Coins form part of their sumptuous gold jewelry. Their performance is part of the annual Guelaguetza festivities in Oaxaca, held the last two Mondays of July. © Oscar Encines, 2008

July in Oaxaca: The Mexican pageantry of the Guelaguetza

A Voice from Oaxaca With pageantry unrivalled in all of Mexico, the Guelaguetza is the most colorful and exhilarating of the multitude of festivals in Oaxaca. And in a state with sixteen different indigenous cultures, each with its own unique traditions including language, food, music, dress and dance, it should come as no surprise that […]

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Angel Ortiz, who created this Mata Ortiz ceramic pot, is trying to bring back folk art techniques from the early 1900s. Mata Ortiz in the state of Chihuahua is renowned for its pottery. This piece was exhibited in Chapala's annual Feria Maestros del Arte. © Marianne Carlson, 2008

Chapala’s Feria Maestros del Arte: guardians of the folk art tradition

In today’s world, where massive factories churn out goods at breakneck speed, it is hard for many people to imagine that there are still devoted artisans tucked away in remote villages of Mexico who dedicate days, weeks and even months to creating one exquisitely crafted piece. These artisans, toiling away in their secluded studios, are […]

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Guelaguetza dancers. © Geri Anderson, 2000

Guelaguetza

Monday, July 21, 2014, the colorful pageantry of Mexico’s Guelaguetza is reenacted once again during the Lunes del Cerro (Mondays on the Hill. A Zapotec word signifying offering or offertory, Guelaguetza was the term used to describe the Oaxaca ceremony and celebration held each year to propitiate the gods in return for sufficient rain and a bountiful harvest. More […]

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